The CDS Exam 2020-2021 comprises three Papers: General knowledge, English and Mathematics. Each Paper holds a total of 100 marks and the time allotted to finish the exam is 2 hours. For admission to IMA, INA, and AFA the written test contains all the three Papers while for admission to the OTA course, there will be only two Papers with 200 marks.

The first step in the preparation of CDS Exam 2020-2021 (I), getting an idea about the syllabus of the exam helps the students know the Papers. Also, the knowledge of the syllabus helps the aspirants know the topics which need to be prepared according to the difficulty level.

- The pattern or syllabus changes every year or sometimes does not change at all, therefore, it is necessary to know the exam pattern and syllabus in order to get the recent updates and changes.
- The exam pattern is important because it helps the student know what are the steps of the selection process.
- Often there are physical tests that are included in the selection process for which students have to keep practicing from the very beginning as they start their preparation. Along with the preparation they also have to ensure physical fitness.
- For some exams, there are Intelligence and Personality tests for which the students have to prepared simultaneously because they will not get much time for preparation after the written exam.

Once, the candidate gets familiar with the CDS Exam Pattern and the CDS Exam Syllabus then he can solve some previous year papers of the CDS exam. This way the students will get to know about the real exam. After solving the previous year's question papers, one should get the answers checked either on your own or by some subject experts. Then, assess your performance and get to know what are the areas of improvement and which are the strong areas.

It is important that one should know their strengths and weakness. Since the exam will be a difficult one; therefore proper strategy is required.

- If the candidate is average or under-confident in all three subjects then he should follow the principle: “Jack of All, Master of None”. This means that if the candidate is in hope to score marks above the cut-off marks, then he should not waste up his time in preparing for just one subject but should devote all his time for all the subjects equally.
- If the students have a good command over anyone Paper and the students are damn sure about the performance in that Paper, then they should study as much as can be sufficient to cross the sectional cut off and make the one Paper so strong that they score more than enough.

The students should get an idea of the recent cut-off of the previous years’ exams. The benefits of figuring out the cut-off list are:

- While analysing the cut-off, the students will get an idea of what can be the safest score.
- If the students get the idea of the cut-off, then they can analyze how good they are at each subject after attempting the mock Papers.
- They will also know which are the fields they can improve further and which subject needs more attention.

The Paper of Maths is applicable only for IMA, INA and AFA. Mathematics is not for the students who are appearing OTA exam. This Paper cabe scoring only when a lot of practice is done for this section. If the candidates have practised well for maths Paper then there are more chances that they will score good marks. The Maths Paper comprises of 100 MCQs and all these questions carry equal marks. For every wrong answer, one-third marks will be deducted as a penalty. The topics that are asked in the exam are Arithmetic, Geometry, Mensuration, Algebra, Trigonometry, and Statistics.

- Speed: The candidates should practise so well that they get a grip over the speed. This can be achieved by regularly practising with various mock tests and question banks. One must memorise the tables, cubes, and cube roots up to 25.
- Get a Collection: The students should prepare a list of important formulas and theorems of Geometry like Circle, Square, tangents, Rectangle, etc. They should also have tricks to solve the problems of Distance and Time, Speed etc.
- Short- Cut Techniques: The candidates should learn new-new tricks and methods to ensure that they finish the paper within time. There must be a systematic approach to solving each and every question.
- Time Management: This step holds the key to success. If the students have all the concepts clear in their mind then they can get maximum scores in Mathematics.
- Revise Previous years Question Paper: The students must revise whatever they have learnt during preparation at the specified time interval of time. They should also solve previous years question papers to understand the pattern and the level of difficulty for each topic.
- Use of Standard Books Only: The students should use only standard books while preparing. Mathematics for C.D.S. by R.S. Aggarwal is a must for the CDS aspirants. The book has many solved questions and a broad number of questions for practice.

English is a scoring subject, here the candidates can score good marks in CDS Exam. The candidates must prepare this Paper well if they want to seriously qualify the exam. Main topics asked in the English paper include Synonyms & Antonyms, Sentence Arrangement, Fillers, Spotting Errors, Selecting Words or Phrases, Ordering of Sentence, Comprehension.

If the candidate has prepared well then English is quite an easy subject.

- The candidates must prosper the habit of reading English Newspapers, Magazines, books etc on a regular basis.
- The candidates should enhance their writing skills, listening habits and speaking skills. The students must learn new words and try to use them in sentences.
- Revision of all the concepts of grammar and update the vocabulary sections. The students should devote their more time to weak sections in the Paper.
- Applicants can take the help from standard books like High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren and Martin. These books help to develop the concepts of grammar. Another book by S.P. Bakshi Objective General is referred to almost all the students of the competitive exams in India.

This section is fully based on facts and figures. It goes on with one basic fundamental: If you know, go for it. This section does not need any idea or any skill like that of Maths and English. If the applicants are familiar with the facts and figures then they can surely answer all the questions. Here we have provided some smart ways to upgrade your general knowledge:

- The applicants can take help from NCERT books and prepare well as most of the times questions can be asked from this. NCERT is considered as the base book for all this.
- Make a daily routine to revise all the static GK like states, capitals, the superlatives, currency, languages, folk dances, dynasties etc.
- General Science is another important topic that may be asked in the exam. For this subject matter, students should refer to the one-liner type question based on GK which is very helpful in the preparation of the exam.
- The book General Awareness by Manohar Pandey covers all the topics that are important from the point of view of CDS Exam (I) 2020-2021. The book comprises of all the GK sections at one stop. All the students who are appearing in the exam must have this book.
- Students must read daily magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan, Competition Success Review (CSR), and Yojana which can help them understand the latest development around the country, latest government projects, changes in the economic policies and many more new updates.
- The newspaper is a must . the applicants must read a newspaper daily like The Hindu, The Telegraph and The Indian Express etc. will help them to know the current affairs segment.
- There are various websites which offer news alerts on an updated basis. The students must subscribe to these websites.

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